Observer NBA writer Rick Bonnell looked into 10 things you probably dont know about new Charlotte Bobcats coach Mike Dunlap
Q: He grew up in Alaska. What was the best thing about that?
The high-quality education. The state tends to invest in great teachers Ivy Leaguers, Dunlap said and he benefitted from that. Also, since kids spend so much time indoors, there were abundant organized sports after school. That was great for a kid who loved basketball.
Q: His dad was a small-town doctor. What did he learn from that?
How to grow a career. His dads practice started in a log cabin. As the oil industry grew in Alaska, so did his fathers practice, to an extent it included multiple doctors in a clinic setting.
Q: He decided he wanted to be a coach
In the fourth grade. Not that he expected to coach in the NBA, but he admired the mentoring coaches provided when he was a kid and wanted to emulate that.
Q: He met John Wooden
As a teenager. He won an award at Woodens camp. Years later, Wooden became one of his mentors.
Q: He ended up at Loyola Marymount
Because he was very good at getting the ball to a more talented junior-college teammate. That got him noticed by the schools coaches.
Q: Who might be the biggest influence on his approach to coaching?
Probably the Newell family. Hall-of-Famer Pete Newell, Sr., played a big role in Dunlaps approach to coaching.
Q: He moved to Australia to coach pro ball because
He says he and his wife are romantics, as in adventurous. He had done some clinics over there and was attracted to the setting and culture. The kids were young enough to be uprooted, so the Dunlaps gave it a try.
Q: Dunlap is known as a defensive specialist. Man-to-man or zone?
Hes a man-to-man guy, but the Bobcats will dabble in a match-up zone occasionally.
Q: What did he learn from George Karl in two years as a Denver Nuggets assistant?
How to manage difficult people.
Q: And that entails?
Karl learned to pick his spots with referees, with players, with most everyone. The guy who coached Gary Payton in Seattle and Ray Allen in Milwaukee was not the guy who coached Carmelo Anthony in Denver. Dunlap benefitted from that evolution.